My prayer right now is surrender. In life. In writing. In the industry. Surrender is a theme I’ve explored in my writing and it’s a theme to which I keep returning. I can’t live courageously, in truth and vulnerability, unless I also surrender to the wild and scary unknowing of what it means to be human. I think mostly, control is an illusion.
I’ve been thinking a lot about courage and vulnerability. It takes a kind of open
heartedness to live in who you are and let others see you. And hearts are at once
tender and soft, strong and vibrant. Hearts are most certainly breakable. So heart-living is scary as fuck!
Writing as an art is by nature vulnerable. It’s tapping into the deepest parts of
ourselves and our human experience and our relationships and putting that energy
out into the world. And when we put those small and large pieces of ourselves out
there, we never know how they’ll be received. I think the vulnerability piece is true
across genres and forms. Sometimes our deepest truths live in the most imaginative, playful, sexual,
humorous, or morbid parts of our minds.
Once we choose to put our energy out there, we foster connection. And what higher purpose is there than to connect authentically with other human beings?
So today I’m asking myself, how courageous can I be? And can I live in that space? When I stop and listen, when I breathe, I can feel myself. And when I open my eyes, I can see you. I’m alive! You’re alive! What a crazy beautiful mess it is in there and out here.
At the risk of giving advice (again :)), open up. Live in your heart. Be present in the truth of you. It’s hard, but
worth the risk. Because what’s the worst that could happen? I’m pretty sure the risk of fear-based living is greater. Because then? Then you risk missing it! And you risk denying the world your gifts.
And while you’re at it (because we’ll always be “at it”) do it in your writing, too.
I’ve been told to write every day. I’ve been told to write late at night. I’ve been told to wake early and write in the wee hours.
I know this is well-meaning advice, and I understand the premise that writing itself must become habitual, such that it’s not just part of who we are as writers, but it’s what we do. But we can’t really take advice unless it resonates somewhere deep in us, can we? Here’s the truth: I write in carved-out, precious bits of time between schlepping kids around and exercising and all the other things life requires of me, or rather, things I require of life.
When I am writing, I check Facebook when my own thoughts are boring me (maybe one day I’ll rid myself of this terrible, empty, and addictive habit, BUT).
Write your novel. Write your short story. That thing (screenplay, novella, whatever!) you’ve been thinking about for 10 years…you’ve got to get it on paper. That’s all.
Oh, and that novel you set aside because you’re always in your own way, knowing you can do better, get back to it.
It can be reworked and edited. It can be better, get better, transform into the thing you envision it to be. But it cannot be the thing you want it to be unless you actually do it.
We’re human. And therefore deeply flawed. So whatever it is we create, let’s not try and make it perfect. Let’s put our blood into it (I’ve been watching too much “Mozart in the Jungle” lately), let’s strive for it, and chip away at it, but, God, perfection is boring anyway, isn’t it? I’d rather sludge through the mess of creation one beautiful, painful bit at a time than hold myself to some unachievable standard.
So even though I’m anti-advice, here’s the bottom line: stop thinking about doing it and believe in yourself enough to ACTUALLY do it.
I’m pretty sure this applies to many other life endeavors. But don’t quote me on it.
Best of luck to you as you pursue your dreams…you deserve it.